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Punkin Chunkin

Saturday, the Howard Fire Company Punpkin’ Chunkin’ Festival saw folks gather to watch some gourds get chucked over the lake at Bald Eagle State Park, to help fundraiser for the local fire department.

Despite the rain, folks at the Punkin’ Chunkin’ Festival had a sunny attitude, especially after last year’s virtual offering.

Like any fall festival, there are stands upon stands of carnival food, craft items, and even hay rides. But what makes the Punkin’ Chunkin’ so special is the main event.

What happens is quite self-explanatory: there are some pumpkins, and they chuck them. And in its tenth year, the festival is still going strong.

“Well, I had the idea as a fundraiser for our fire company. And I really knew that fall festivals are a dime a dozen, so you needed something unique and special to draw the people. And one day, I was driving to work and I just thought about punkin’ chunkin’ and I thought you can’t find anything more unique than this,” festival founder George Demchak told 6 News.

It takes some real engineering and creativity to design a catapult, and there are many ways to launch a pumpkin.

It’s one man’s eighth year participating, and he’s created a human-powered launcher.

“We started out by going to the world championships and met one of the guys from the fire company, and they have a machine And so we met them there and they said, ‘hey! We have an event. Why don’t you come?’ so we’ve been coming here ever since,” Tom Bush said.

Bush walked through the logic behind his invention, which is powered by a bike.

“In human power, the whole key is efficiency, ’cause you’re limited to whatever horsepower a human can put out, and that’s not too much. So, everything’s gotta be efficient. So, a wheel would be more aerodynamic ’cause it doesn’t have much wind resistance,” he told 6 News.

While the weather may have kept more people away this year the festival’s founder says the spirit is alive.

“I’d like to invite people Come to Punkin’ Chunkin’, where pumpkins learn to fly!”

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